The WorSharks spent their fourth consecutive New Year’s Eve on the road and on the strength of a 35 save performance by goaltender Harri Sateri and a game winning goal by captain John McCarthy with just 66 seconds left in regulation celebrated the new year with a 3-2 victory over the Manchester Monarchs Monday night at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, New Hampshire in front of 9,051 fans.
The celebration for the victory was muted as everyone was concerned about the injury suffered by second year forward Curt Gogol at 12:55 of the second period when he was intentionally run over by Manchester Monarchs rookie Andy Andreoff in the neutral zone far away from the play. Andreoff, who fought Worcester defenseman Sena Acolatse Friday and then taunted the Worcester bench, had shown no interest in fighting Frazer McLaren or Matt Pelech earlier in the contest as the WorSharks were looking to deliver a message. Andreoff again declined to fight when Gogol lined up next to him, but instead chose to deliver a blind hit to the head of Gogol well away from the puck during the ensuing play.
After medical personnel from both teams tended to Gogol he was placed on a backboard and then wheeled off on a stretcher. Gogol did wave to the crowd, which drew a very large cheer from the normally intensely partisan Manchester fans. Soon after the game Gogol was released from the hospital, and reports are that he suffered mouth injuries (including almost slicing his tongue in half). There was no word on if he suffered a concussion, but the fact he was so quickly released indicated if he does have one it probably is a minor one. Andreoff received a match penalty for checking to the head, and as such is supposed to be suspended until a review by the American Hockey League takes place.
Here are video highlights of the goals scored in the contest. The video does not show the hit on Gogol.
Scratches for the WorSharks were Sena Acolatse (broken jaw), Jimmy Bonneau (healthy), Taylor Doherty (achilles), Yanni Gourde (healthy), Danny Groulx (concussion), Travis Oleksuk (groin), and Nick Petrecki (hand). This is the second time in his pro career that Acolatse has suffered broken facial bones after being hit by a puck. Prior to the game Worcester re-signed defenseman Denny Urban to a second PTO contract. If there’s any silver lining to all the defensive injuries for Worcester it’s they’ll now get an extended look at Urban, who in just two games has shown himself to be a very capable puck moving blue liner. Alex Stalock was the back-up netminder.
The win gives Worcester it’s first three game winning streak of the season. It’s been almost a full calendar year since the WorSharks had a three game winning streak, with the last being from January 8-15, 2012 when Harri Sateri put together consecutive shutout wins over Portland and Providence with Tyson Sexsmith adding a shootout victory over Syracuse. The WorSharks last winning streak longer than three games was from December 9-17, 2011 when they ran off five consecutive regulation road wins.
Worthless stat for Monday: The win by Sateri improves his career record against opposition goaltenders also wearing jersey number 35 to 3-2-0-1. To complete the record Alex Stalock is 3-3-0-0 vs goaltenders that wear share number 32, although he’s only ever faced one as Dany Sabourin wore jersey number 32 for one season with Providence. Sateri should get more chances this season to improve on his record, but Stalock is probably stuck at .500 as other than himself no regular roster goaltender in the AHL is wearing number 32 this season.
The three stars of the game were
1. WOR – 35 Harri Sateri (35 saves)
2. WOR – 7 John McCarthy (gwg)
3. MCH – 15 Brandon Kozun (g)
The Sharkspage player of the game was Jon Matsumoto
Worcester 2 0 1 – 3
Manchester 0 2 0 – 2
1st Period-1, Worcester, Matsumoto 8 (Urban), 6:56. 2, Worcester, Hamilton 4 (Sheppard, Tennyson), 9:50 (PP). Penalties-Matsumoto Wor (holding the stick), 2:26; Nolan Mch (slashing), 8:00.
2nd Period-3, Manchester, Hickey 3 (Deslauriers, Pearson), 11:25 (PP). 4, Manchester, Kozun 9 (Vey, Pearson), 19:12. Penalties-McLaren Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:31; Andreoff Mch (unsportsmanlike conduct), 6:31; Brennan Wor (roughing), 10:13; McLaren Wor (roughing), 12:55; Andreoff Mch (match – check to the head), 12:55; Cliche Mch (roughing), 12:55; Campbell Mch (delay of game), 14:16.
3rd Period-5, Worcester, McCarthy 5 (Kennedy, Pelech), 18:54. Penalties-Bodnarchuk Mch (tripping), 4:09; Kennedy Wor (unsportsmanlike conduct), 8:27; Irwin Wor (double minor – spearing (attempt)), 10:20.
Shots on Goal-Worcester 4-6-8-18. Manchester 11-14-12-37.
Power Play Opportunities-Worcester 1 / 4; Manchester 1 / 5.
Goalies-Worcester, Sateri 6-6-1 (37 shots-35 saves). Manchester, Mannino 7-4-0 (18 shots-15 saves).
Referees-Jean-Philippe Sylvain (16), Jon McIsaac (45).
Linesmen-Joe Ross (92), Robert St. Lawrence (10).